tv The Situation Room CNN March 28, 2013 2:00pm-4:00pm PDT
the good and the bad tomorrow at the end of the show. e-mail us at "the email@example.com." that does it for today. i'll turn you over to my friend wolf blitzer who is standing by just a few feet away. take it away, wolf. >> thanks very much. happening now, we're following breaking news. get this. a former united states soldier has now been arrested and charged with fighting for al qaeda allies in syria. stand by for details. angry and emotional, president obama tries to shame the public and congress into taking action on gun control. and of all of the fbi's most notorious cases, the one that by far grabs the most attention from the american public has to do with flying saucers. let's get right to the breaking news. a former u.s. soldier now
arrested and charged with helping al qaeda's allies in the syrian civil war. let's go straight to our foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty. first of all, what is he accused of? >> well, he is accused of using a weapon of mass destruction and in this case it's an rpg. the rocket propelled grenades, using them outside of the united states, specifically in syria. his name is eric harun. he is 30 years old, apparently from phoenix. and he is being charged again with working with, fighting with al nusura in syria. it is a little bit different because he is working allegedly and fighting alongside against the government forces of bash ish al assad in other words on the side of the opposition. they say he served with the u.s. army from 2000 to 2003 and then most recently he went into syria and was part of a team using
rpgs and other weapons. he was arrested tuesday night by the fbi in a hotel near dulles airport and we'll have to see. it is a very interesting and kind of different case of an american fighting for a terrorist organization according to the united states. >> according to the state department who listed it as a terrorist organization affiliated, aligned in effect with al qaeda as well. it is important to note, though, jill, legally speaking he isn't charged with fighting against americans specifically. right? >> correct. i think that is important to point out. although al nusura was very active in iraq and presumably still is he is not being charged with attacks on americans. it's really using those weapons in syria. >> we'll have more on this story, the breaking news, an american ex-soldier charged, arrested with helping an al qaeda group in syria. jill, thanks very much.
>> shame on us if we've forgotten. i haven't forgotten those kids. shame on us if we've forgotten. >> president obama made a very, very emotional push for action on gun control today focusing on the 20 first graders and six educators killed in the december newtown, connecticut school massacre. the president said americans must remember the resolve they felt immediately after the shootings. recent polls, however, show that just three months after the massacre public support for major new gun laws has indeed dropped. let's go to our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin. she is working the story for us. the president was determined he was passionate today, jessica. >> reporter: hi, wolf. he was. today senator marco rubio is the latest republican to vow a filibuster of some antigun violence legislation. it's the latest obstacle adding pressure to the president's
efforts to push for new measures just now three months after the sandy hook massacre. surrounded by mothers of shooting victims president obama tried to shame congress into passing legislation that would curb gun violence. >> the notion that two months or three months after something as horrific as what happened in newtown happens? and we've moved on to other things? that's not who we are. >> reporter: next month the senate will vote on a measure to expand background checks on gun purchases to make it illegal to buy guns and resell them to criminals and increase funding for school safety. >> none of these ideas should be controversial. why wouldn't we want to make it more difficult for a dangerous person to get his or her hand on a gun? >> reporter: on a conference call wednesday, vice president biden assured gun control supporters something will pass.
>> i think we're on the verge of getting a serious, thorough, universal background check system in place and it will, emphasize, it will save lives. >> reporter: the president pointed out 90% of americans support background checks. what he didn't mention? support for stricter gun laws has fallen 10% since the sandy hook shootings. now at 47% down from 57% in december. >> my sister loved teaching. >> reporter: but supporters of gun safety are keeping up the pressure. mayors against illegal guns, the $12 million ad campaign funded by new york's mayor bloomberg, launched this new spot today. >> i got a 911 call that there was a shooting at sandy hook elementary school. >> reporter: something else the president didn't mention, wolf. the legislation the senate will take up next month will not include an assault weapons ban. it also will not include a limit on those high capacity magazine
clips. the white house once considered that so important. both disappointing developments for gun control advocates. the president will continue his push for gun control measures and next week he has an event on this issue in denver. >> what i hear you saying, jessica, is that what is most realistic are some tighter background checks as opposed to some of the other provisions. >> reporter: that's right. background checks at this point seems to be the bottom line most that gun control advocates are going to get right now. >> all right. thanks. jessica yellin at the white house, let's dig deeper right now with our chief political analyst gloria borger. interesting that support for major gun control has dropped. how does that change the politics? >> right. i mean, i think we've seen the numbers heading in that direction since newtown when it reached a high and now it's gone in the other direction. what we're seeing from the president, really, wolf, is making an emotional appeal here to americans not to forget because that is what happens in
our politics as you know as well as i do. something happens. polls change. and then the polls go back. so this is really an emotional appeal and, of course, let's not forget if an assault weapons ban were easy to get, it would have been renewed nine years ago. and it hasn't been. and the president and the vice president understand that this has always been an uphill battle for them. >> and the opposition is not just coming from republicans but from some democrats as well. >> look. there are a handful of red state democrats, wolf, who are up for re-election, whose constituents believe that any kind of gun control legislation would be an infringement on their second amendment rights. you see that, those members of the senate there. and also, not only on the democratic side but there are also republicans who are now threatening to filibuster gun control legislation. those republicans would be rand paul, marco rubio, ted cruz, and there shall we say, and mike lee
over there, they are aspiring republican politicians who are playing to the republican base, which opposes this. so you see now it not only -- it's not a national issue as much as it is a local issue. and that's why this legislation is having a very, very difficult time getting through the congress. >> if they filibuster it would require 60 votes. >> yes. >> as opposed to 51. >> yes. and remember, don't forget, rand paul has been on the floor filibustering before so when he threatens to filibuster you better believe him. >> he knows how to do that. >> yes, he does. >> thanks very much. much more coming up on this story later. also the president now planning another dinner with republican lawmakers. we'll hear from the republican senator who was called by the president and asked to make it happen. and an emotional plea for tougher gun laws from the teacher of a massacre victim who worries about her own children. that and a lot more coming up right here in "the situation room." [ female announcer ] born from the sweet monk fruit,
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finding you the perfect place. hotels.com. president obama's so-called charm offensive is not over by any means and you can say he is planning another dinner date with republican senators. while he is going out with the republicans again in april they aren't necessarily the ones he took out for a meal just a few weeks ago. listen to this. and joining us now republican senator johnny isakson of georgia. thanks very much for coming in. let's get to this big dinner you're having with the president april 10th. did he reach out to you and invite you to put together a group of republicans that would meet with him for dinner? >> yes, wolf. it is good to be with you, too, by the way, and happy easter to you and the viewers today. the president commented earlier last week -- called me earlier
last week and said he felt his first meet wg 12 republicans he felt had been productive with sharing ideas and finding differences and he wanted to reach out and meet with 12 more and asked if i would put together 12 republicans to have dinner with him on april 10th. i'm in the process now. >> you are coming up with a list of people who didn't have dinner with him at the jefferson hotel near washington. other republicans. can you tell us who is on your list, who has already accepted? >> until i get everybody on i'd rather release it all at one time when we know everybody that's accepted so i'll wait until the first of next week to do that. >> what's on the agenda? did the president say it is an open agenda or are there specific items he'd like to talk to you guys about? >> wolf, there is no set agenda and it's open including let major league pick whoever i want to invite to come to the dinner. i think the president's experience coming to our conference about two weeks ago and the first dinner led him to believe there may be some areas where we're not as far apart as might have thought like on reforms in terms of entitlements, things of that nature. so i think the discussion
primarily will resolve around spending, around revenues, and around entitlements which after all spending and our debt and deficit are our two biggest problems. >> those are obviously critically important issues. other issues before you including comprehensive immigration reform. how far apart do you think you are with the president on that? >> well, until the group of eight in the senate finally release all the points in their plan rather than just the framework i wouldn't hesitate to -- i wouldn't want to -- i would hesitate to make a prediction on how close we might be but immigration reform is going to be a top of the agenda item in this session. >> presumably might be top of the agenda item at the dinner as well. >> it could be. like i say, there are no parameters to the dinner. everybody comes with their own thoughts, own opinions, own topics. >> i know you have a very different view on guns for example. gun control. he's got a different view than you do. are you guys pretty far apart on that? do you expect that to be discussed? >> wolf, my state of georgia is very much a pro second amendment state and believe in the right to bear arms and gun control in
terms of confiscating weapons or not allowing weapons to be bought would not be a vote that people of georgia would expect to have. background checks is another thing. i did the instant background check in georgia back when the brady bill passed in 1995, so identifying people who shouldn't be buying the weapons because of mental health or because of their record, criminal record, a felon or whatever, would be something that could be considered. i don't think you'll see any ban on cartridges and no ban on the purchase of weapons. >> can a dinner like this, senator, really make a difference? >> wolf, i sold houses for 33 years in my life. i never sold one to somebody i couldn't sit across the table and talk to. when you have to put two people together to come to a common agreement, you cannot do it unless you sit down at the same table, talk and find common ground. so i'm hopeful this will be a fruitful meeting. i'm hopeful at least if nothing else happens both sides will understand where each side is and where the middle might be. >> i think there are what, 45
republican senators. he reached out to you. why you? did he tell you why he called you and asked you to put this dinner together? >> no, he did not. >> do you have any inkling? >> i hope he felt like i had enough friends to get 12 people to come. >> that's not going to be a problem though, right? >> no, it's not going to be a problem. >> it's you and 11 other republicans, right? >> yes, sir. that's correct. >> it'll be 12 republicans. the president presumably will bring an aide or two. what's the most pressing question you have on your mind going into this dinner? >> well, the thing i want to hopefully get across to the president is my feeling that we have a ripe opportunity to bring both sides together and fix the solvency of social security and medicare for years to come. granted it's going to take us doing some tough decision buss we owe it to our children, grandchildren, and as far as medicare is concerned we owe it to seniors of today, so my starting point would be, let's make a commitment that we're going to save social security and save medicare and reform
them and find the savings that will help us bring down our debt and deficit over time. >> yesterday our chief congressional correspondent dana bash did an excellent report here in the situation room on the film "argo" and your new initiative, a legislative initiative to try to finally get some compensation for those american diplomats and security personnel who were held hostage by the iranians for 444 days. what are the prospects? what do you think the chances are that finally your piece of legislation will get through and they'll each get a few million dollars? >> well, we were very close last year. we almost made it at the end of the session and failed. i think the popularity of "argo" and the fact it won an academy award and if you watch the movie the riveting depiction of the -- what those hostages went through -- has raised the visibility of this. we have the iranian sanctioned money flowing in now which we can assess or tap to see to it these people are paid for their suffering and for the terror they went through.
i'm committed to doing it. i think the american people would back it up. and i think we've gained the support in congress to do it. >> senator, good luck. thanks so much for coming in. >> thanks, wolf. good to be with you. coming up in "the situation room" she introduced the president of the united states today before he told america and i'm quoting, now, shame on us. she's getting ready to join us live. get this. having goats trim the grass. that and other ways you suggest the government could cut spending. new information coming in. stay with us. stay with us. you're in "the situation room." call me! seriously, this is really happening! [ cellphone rings ] hello? it's a giant helicopter ma'am. [ male announcer ] get it done [ chirp ] with the ultra-rugged kyocera torque, only from sprint direct connect. buy one get four free for your business.
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. the white house announced today it will release its budget for the 2014 fiscal year on april 10th. that's more than two months after the deadline delayed in part because of deliberations over spending cuts. there is no shortage of ideas out there after the white house asked the american public for suggestions. cnn's tom foreman is in the virtual studio right now. take us through some of these ideas. >> you know, wolf, when this administration came in, everyone in washington knew that we had financial problems. they set up the save awards asking government employees coast to coast to come up with ideas they would submit electronically to save money and 86,000 came in. a lot of them focus on things any of us might be able to see as really reasonable. for example, one of the ideas is getting rid of paperwork. we've all had big mailings from the government. all sorts of things. government agencies trade things back and forth. some of the workers pointed out, look. this is something you could easily handle through e-mails or
smart phones or all sorts of ways to get this information other than printing out all sorts of documents. so a study a few years ago suggested about $440 million a year is wasted on government printing that doesn't really have to be done. what are some of the others? one really common theme was going after congress. a lot of people said that somehow the performance of congress should be tied to whether or not congress members get paid or whether or not they can get a raise. that is actually a popular idea. difficult to pull off because the constitution keeps any congress from keeping its own pay. it can only change the pay for future congresses. hard idea to pull off. some ideas we've heard many times. let me pull in the change pocket and pull this out. the idea of getting rid of the penny came up from several people. this had been talked about for a couple decades now. very difficult to pull off. yes it costs more to produce a penny than a penny is worth but politically a hard idea to get
rid of. nonetheless, this is a range of the type of ideas that came pouring in in those tens of thousands. >> 86,000 recommendations. how many of these ideas have actually been put into place, tom? >> not a whole lot. a small number of them. some of them still track what the administration was doing anyway. people seem to like the idea of doing this and here is something worth bearing in mind. some of the ideas that may seem really silly and odd can actually work. for example, the goats. one of the suggestions was that the white house should get goats. the federal government should buy goats and these should become groundskeepers. you could turn them loose to take care of all sorts of properties all over the country that the government needs taken care of. this may seem silly. standing here by electronic goats seems very silly but this has actually worked before. back in world war i, woodrow wilson knew the country was having a hard time with
finances. he got a flock of sheep and turned it loose to take care of the white house lawn because it was cheaper than having gardeners do it. they sheared the wool, used the wool, and it genuinely worked. so all of the ideas pouring in there may seem silly in some cases but if you read through the list on this website, you see a lot of well intentioned ideas from thousands of government workers across the country who truly think that they as taxpayers would also like to see a more efficient government. >> we'd all like to see that if we possibly can and i know we can if they try really hard. up next one of her students died in a mass shooting and she worries deeply about her own children. a mother's emotional plea for tougher gun laws. and south africa's legendary leader nelson mandela is in the hospital right now. president obama has just offered up a special message. we'll have details. >> in seasons to come they help
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i'm wolf blitzer. here is what's coming up. a mother of two makes an emotional plea to the american public moments before introducing president obama. she is standing by to join us live in just a moment. "time" magazine releases two very provocative covers for this week's issue. we'll go behind the scenes with the managing editor and see how they chose these photos. and a closeup look at the most popular document in the fbi's online vault. al capone is no match for flying saucers. back to our top story right now. president obama stepping up his efforts to move forward on gun control. flanked by those who have been touched by gun violence, the president today tried to shame the american public and the congress into action. he was introduced by katarina rodgaard who taught one of the
victims of the virginia tech massacre and is a mother herself. >> after losing rema and seeing the horror at sandy hook, my reaction was that i no longer felt it was safe to raise a family in this country. i felt i either needed to leave the country or do something. >> katarina is joining us here in the situation room. you talked about rema and we've spoken to her dad over these years at virginia tech. she was killed on that brutal day. what was it like to introduce the president of the united states at the white house today? >> oh, it was absolutely amazing. i'm just a regular, ordinary citizen and i just found out 24 hours, less than 24 hours before i had to do it that i was going to do it. >> how did they pick you? did somebody call you from the white house? how did they know about you? >> they asked our organization, moms demand action for gun sense in america, to be present at
this event. they asked us each to submit a short bioof our story and i guess they chose my bioand they were affected by it enough to ask me to introduce the president. >> how were you affected personally? just in a little summary of what happened at virginia tech. >> personally at virginia tech i was shocked. i learned about rema's death on the news when they started scrolling the pictures and names of the victims. i was shocked. it was the first time i've been touched by gun violence. and not the last i guess. >> all of us have been -- have heard about it but you knew someone who was actually brutally killed. >> right. >> senselessly at virginia tech university. so how frustrated are you right now when you see the tougher gun control legislation seemingly stalled? >> i am very frustrated. these are people, most of whom have never been touched by gun violence. this is an epidemic. this is a public health crisis. and i am very frustrated. i was extremely frustrated right when i first started this.
that we didn't even have -- i was frustrated to even come across any opposition. this is common sense. this is common sense. >> did you speak to the president personally about this today? did you have a chance to exchange a few words with him and the vice president for that matter? >> yes. i was lucky enough to do so before i spoke. >> so how did those conversations go? what can you share with us? >> they were very appreciative of our help, all of us moms. some of the moms that were there have lost children as recently as 35 days ago. they were touched by our presence and they asked us to continue to help support because it is going to be an uphill battle. >> you have this personal connection. what do you want to share with lawmakers right now who are trying to decide how they should vote? >> well, the vote in the senate is due to come up around the same time as the anniversary of virginia tech. i hope they keep that in mind as well as all the other mass shootings that we have had. this is unacceptable. whether they pass something or not, and i believe they should,
we will not back down. we will come back. we will come back for the mid-term elections and so forth. we will come back until we get all of the measures we are seeking met. >> you have a picture there. what is that? this is a picture of rema dancing. >> a beautiful young lady there we see her and as i said i've interviewed her dad on a few occasions and our heart goes out to that family, to all the families of the victims of these senseless killings. katarina, thanks very much for coming in. good luck. >> thank you, wolf. the former south african president nelson mandela is in the hospital right now. he's battling a recurring lung infection. doctors say he is responding positively to the treatment. the 94-year-old antiapartheid icon was taken to the hospital just before midnight last night. nelson mandela has been treated for this ailment before but he has become increasingly frail over the years. the president says the white house says president obama is being updated on his condition. >> obviously we're all deeply
concerned with nelson mandela's health. he is a hero i think to all of us. i'm sure that i speak for the other leaders here and we will be keeping him in our thoughts and prayers and his entire family. he is as strong physically as he has been in character and in leadership over so many decades. and hopefully he will come out of this latest challenge. but we all recognize that he has given everything to his people, the people of south africa, to the people of the continent and has ended up being an inspiration to all of us. when you think of a single individual that embodies the kind of leadership qualities that i think we all aspire to, the first name that comes up is nelson mandela and so we wish
him all the very best. >> we certainly do. we wish him speedy, speedy recovery as well. i remember interviewing president mandela in capetown at the presidential residence there back in 1998, one of the most memorable and moving interviews i had. he single handedly almost prevented a mass slaughter with the fall of apartheid. he was an amazing, amazing leader and we wish him speedy recovery. just ahead, we'll show you the magazine cover that is sparking some serious controversy right now. in fact, "time" magazine has two covers on same sex marriage. stand by for that. plus, of all of the fbi's most notorious cases, the one that by far grabs the most attention from the american public has to do with flying saucers. we have new information.
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as a divided u.s. supreme court weighs too landmark cases on same sex marriage, "time" magazine is out right now with not one but two controversial covers declaring that the battle already has been won. joining us now the "time" managing editor rick stangl. cover story gay marriage already won. the supreme court hasn't made up its mind but america has. how did you decide on these two covers, two men kissing, two women kissing? >> well, equal opportunity, wolf. i thought plea-- the idea was basically the american public certainly more than half of people, 3/4 of people under the age of 30, accept this idea of gay marriage. they welcome this idea of gay marriage. they believe in the idea of love
between same sex couples. so i thought it was only fair to have a male same sex couple and a female same sex couple. >> what's been the reaction to these covers out there. they're going to be on news stands i assume in some areas, some parts of the country, some evangelical parts of the country. they might not be thrilled with these covers. >> well, that may well be the case. there may be some people uncomfortable with it. one of the calculations i made is that america is basically embracing this idea of gay marriage and i wanted people to see the love that is at the heart of some same sex marriages and i think these pictures do demonstrate that. i think they are lovely and beautiful and in some ways they are kind of rosach tests how people react. >> have you gotten any information from any companies right now that they won't put these "time" magazine covers out there on news stands? >> no. i haven't heard from one to that effect, wolf. it is still early. and as you know, i mean, there
are so many corporations now in america that have endorsed the idea of same sex marriage -- big companies that are -- a lot of whom are advertisers in "time" and i welcome that. >> i know that "time" magazine, i assume you still have an international edition, right? would you use the same covers out there, send it out there all over the world? >> no. this -- this was not the cover in our international editions. it was a different cover. >> i assume in the muslim world, for example, you wouldn't be allowed in many countries to sell a magazine with covers like this. is that your -- would that be part of the reason you wouldn't put these on -- these pictures on covers of international editions of "time" magazine? >> well, actually that wasn't part of the calculation. it was a very american story. christine lagarde is on the cover of our international editions. it is a story on her in the domestic edition. so it is just that there are different audiences and this just didn't seem like it was of
the moment for an international audience. >> speaking of christine lagarde the imf chief, you have an interesting interview in the new issue with her and you also deal with the issue of cyprus and how that could spill over and affect not only cyprus but europe, even maybe the united states. there's been reaction from some of the talk, right wing radio talk show hosts out there. i'll play a couple clips. >> if you're wondering if your money is safe here in america i don't blame you because what is happening on the tiny island nation of cyprus is a textbook definition of spreading the wealth. >> can't happen here but simply cannot happen. the public is too aware. the public wouldn't put up with something like this. oh, really? the public wouldn't put up with, say, warren buffet having 40% of what he has taken away from him? >> what did she say about the fear that some might have here, even here in the united states, that there could be a really negative spill over effect from what's happening in cyprus right now on the united states?
>> right. well, the point that miss lagarde makes in the piece, wolf, is that the problems of europe are in some ways particularly europe and are not relevant to the u.s. one of the problems she said is there is no central bank in europe. that each of these countries including countries like cyprus that are responsible for its own losses, its own debts, and there is no kind of single back stop like the federal reserve here in the united states. so i think that is one very large and very significant difference. >> rick stangl is the managing editor of "time" magazine. thanks very much for coming in. >> great. thank you, wolf. coming up mitt romney is speaking out again. does he still have a role in republican politics? i'll ask a romney insider. and forget about gangsters and bank robbers. the most popular document in old fbi case files has to do with ufos. [ female announcer ] what if the next big thing, isn't a thing at all?
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just a few minutes ago you heard a republican senator jonny isakson of georgia tell me his upcoming dinner with the president and 11 other republicans likely will focus largely on spending, not necessarily on immigration reform or other issues. but that's not necessarily a sign of where the issue stands right now on capitol hill. joining me now, for today's strategy session, cnn contributor and democratic strategist donna brazile and kevin madden the executive vice president of public affairs for communications firm jda frontline a former top romney campaign adviser. guys, thanks very much. the president gave an interview to univision and spoke about immigration reform. listen to his upbeat assessment.
>> they're paying attention to border security. they are creating a pathway for people to earn their citizenship. and my expectation is that we'll actually see a bill on the floor of the senate next month. >> you tweeted out, together with jeb bush earlier, a republican party report which said among republican voters in iowa and south carolina republican voters supported providing a pathway to citizenship that ooh lou imgroonts get citizenship if it's an earned process where they get in the back of the line and pay fines. so you think republicans by and large are onboard right now on this earned pathway to citizenship. >> i think there is optimism on both sides. that report, i think it had a lot of good news for republicans, particularly those interested in trying to find the solution on this issue. there's been a big sea change here. if you look at capitol hill and
look at the folks actually working on this issue, they're the same folks that in 2007 were ardent, you know, they were ardently against a comprehensive approach. now they're sitting in a room together with democrat colleagues trying to hammer out the details of a bill. so i believe there is a path forward. both sides are pretty optimistic. there are also challenges. there's hope in washington, d.c., there's some legislative procedure or there's some vocal minority that's trying to stop it. and i ti the question for us going forward is, can we get past a lot of that. >> on the issue of the guest workers, there seems to be a real serious sticking point between big business and the labor movement. you're close to the labor movement. is this going to be a problem? >> i hope not. but look, i think the labor community has been very, very adamant that the guest worker provision includes some type of fair wages, so we don't create a permanent underclass in society. the last thing that workers like
to see is a group of workers who come in here, pay below the poverty level and they get jobs, but americans who are trying to have a decent living wage, unable to find those jobs. this is a sticking point. but i do believe chuck schumer and others are working with labor and the business community to resolve it. >> it goes back to the point in 2007, this was a similar issue. the question now is whether or not we can get past it. >> let me talk about mitt romney for a moment. he gave an interview to dennis miller on his radio show. among other things, he said this. >> i care -- i'm very concerned about the country, to be honest, dennis. i wouldn't have gotten into this -- >> me, too. >> i'm still concerned about the country. and i keep looking for the most effective way for me to try and get the country on a course of remaining strong and powerful in terms of our values, our military, our soft power, our economy. the american people need a strong america. and so i -- i'm going to keep finding ways to keep america as
strong as vibrant as possible. but that's the frustration with losing. which is, i don't have the influence obviously i could have had, had i won that election. >> does he have a role right now to play if the republican party, for pam pl? >> i'm sure that's one of many frustrations that he has. look, you cannot run for president just on a lark. donna knows this very well. i've worked on two campaigns. they are a brutal process. in order to run, you have to really care about the country and have ideas to bring forward. that's why governor romney won. i'm sorry, that's why he ran. that is why, you know, those don't go away when you lose an election. it's still a really important part of his fiber and who he is. he wants to help the country, and help the party. i think the difference is he's not going to be a contributor in that process, helping other new candidates in the republican party rebuild the party. then compete in the arena of ideas with democrats. >> you worked for al gore when he lost and he continued to play
a role. >> of course. he's still playing a role. his latest book the future is a best seller. but you know, to mitt romney's credit, there's one area of american life that we could use some leadership, and that is if corporate responsibility. and i think if he can reach out, as the president did earlier when he reached out to mitt romney, bring corporate america into the fold, to work with government. he has a role to play. >> donna and kevin, thanks very much. when we come back, flying saucers and visitors from outer space. what do ufos have to do with the fbi. a tiger attacks at a canadian zoo. we'll have the latest on the victim and exactly what happened, in the next hour. yeah, we found that wonderful thing. and you smiled. and threw it. and i decided i would never, ever leave it anywhere. because that wonderful, bouncy, roll-around thing... had made you play. and that...
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tackled. it's called the vault, the fbi's dinl tal reading room where any of us can go online and review the bureau's most notorious cases. >> since we opened the vault, it's been this memo about flying disks or flying saucers, and it relates to an allegation that we heard from a thirdhand saying that the air force had found a couple of saucers in the fu mexico desert. >> reporter: no, no, can't be. most people want to read about machine gun kelly and al capone, right? >> you would think so. this memo itself has gotten over a million page views in two years since we put it up. al capone, doesn't make the top 50. >> reporter: the memo's all of two paragraphs. the head of the fbi's washington field office wrote that an investigator stated three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in new mexico. they were described as being circular in shape, with raised
centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter. not only that, each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape, but only three feet tall, dressed if metallic cloth of a very fine texture. each body was bandaged in a hanner similar to the blackout suits by speed flyers and test pilots. john fox is the fbi's historian. >> this was never followed up on, right? >> no. it says no further evaluation was attempted concerning the above. >> why not? >> from what we can read, it certainly looks like they thought that this was thirdhand information. that this was not necessarily a hoax, which it could well have been, but that someone was simply reporting hearsay. >> reporter: it was more for the air force to look into, along with other countless reports in roswell, new mexico, and elsewhere. one reason the memo from agent huddle went viral is because when the fbi vault was set up online two years ago, tabloids seized on that memo saying it
backed up the memos that aliens existed. there are hundreds of other pages of memos and files in the fbi vault. in the unexplained phenomenon section that are more popular online than the fbi's files on bonny and clyde, serial killer ted bundy and other famous cases. cases involving osama bin laden, investigations into the murders of civil rights leaders, all part of fbi lore. fox said out of all the strange cases he's come across -- >> the descriptions of 50-foot-diameter saucers and human shapes 3 foot tall, metallic clothe, aliens, that's unique. >> and we can say a little frustrating for fbi officials who say it diverts attention from all the work they've done, all the dangers they've faced through the years to capture fugitives and solve the nation's most difficult crimes. wolf? >> it's not, brian, like the fbi spent a lot of time investigating ufos, right? >> no, they didn't.
often the reports would come into their hands, never substantiated, often third or fourthhand. they would have to quickly determine if there was anything of a criminal nature. they never really did deal with these cases. in the early cases, te had to file memos of reports they had gotten. stra strangely, it one caught fire on the internet. >> brian todd, thank you. happening now, inside newtown gunman's armed fortress. new details of adam lanza's very strange life and enormous arsenal. an army veteran now accused of plotting with al qaeda after boasting online about his exploits in syria's civil war. a tiger attack. we have a live report on a new and terrifying incident at a zoo. i'm kate baldwin. >> i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome our viewers from around the united states and in the world. and in the world. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
>> we now know it took less than five minutes, about 300 seconds for adam lanza to commit one of the deadliest school shootings in sufficient history. >> documents from the newtown massacre investigation were released just today. and it's more clear than ever that lanza had an enormous stockpile of weapons and ammunition in his home. >> it was enormous, indeed. our national correspondent, susan candiotti is joining us now with the latest. it's chilling to go through all these documents, suzanne. >> it sure is. we wanted to make clear to everyone that the victims' families were first briefed on this information before it was released. adam lanza shot his way inside sandy hook elementary armed to the hilt. he left more weapons and bullets at home. impressive on the outside, inside the home 20-year-old adam
lanza shared with his mother, nancy, more like an arsenal. court documents reveal investigators found at least 1,600 unspent rounds of ammunition, two rifles, three samurai swords, a bayonet and a 7-foot pole with a blade on one end and a spear on the other. >> i don't think this will be any different, there's always a mix of depression, and paranoia. they're so sad and depressed, they're willing to die, and they're so paranoid and see the world as so threatening they want to kill other people. the paranoia really creates this need to surround yourself with weapons. >> reporter: lying in her bed, adam lanza's first victim, his mother nancy. a bullet hole if her forehead, a rifle on the floor. elsewhere in the house, her week-long to-do list, starting with the day she was killed. adam lanza's massacre began at home but the worst was yet to come. >> this was someone who was
living in a world of violence, and somehow either planned on crossing over, or at some point was motivated to cross over, and be the killer. >> reporter: 154 bullet casings found at sandy hook elementary, shot from 30-round magazines, three found empty, another three with a handful of rounds left. and three more 30-round magazines discovered on his body, fully loaded. inside lanza's honda parked outside the school, a shotgun with two 70-round magazines, right after the shooting an unnamed witness told investigators lanza rarely left his home. calling him a shut-in. the witness described adam as an avid gamer who liked the gory shoot 'em up call of duty. inside lanza's home, more creepy clues of what sources have described as lanza's obsession with sir yal killers, and mass shootings.
several journals, three photos of what appeared to be dead bodies in plastic covered in blood. newspaper clippings including an article about a 2008 northern illinois university shooting spree that killed five and injured 21. authorities also found books, including look me in my eye. born on a blue day, inside the mind of an autistic sa vaupt, and train your brain to get hope. as. >> this was a bizarre home situation between this mother and this son. it was fought healthy. and this was certainly a young man, if he was getting treatment for whatever his psychological issues may have been, that it just was not working. >> reporter: also found two nra certificates, one each for nancy and adam. unclear what they were for, the nra says neither was a member. more firearms were on the way. a holiday card with a check
signed by nancy lanza, naming a gun model she had in mind. that same unidentified witness told police sandy hook elementary was adam lanza's life. a former student there himself, it also became lanza's killing field. he shot 26 children and adults in less than five minutes. his motive? an obsession with mass shootings, to set a record. why that day? there are many theories. police tell me they have yet to settle on just one. the final report is expected around june. wolf? >> it is chilling, susan candiotti reporting. thank you very much. relatives of the newtown victims joined president obama today in a very emotional new appeal for tougher gun laws. the president sounded sad. he sounded angry. that support for gun control appears to have faded since newtown. he tried to shame the nation and the congress to take action.
>> less than 100 days ago that happened. and the entire country was shattered. the entire country pledged we would do something about it, and this time it would be different. shame on us if we've forgotten. i haven't forgotten those kids. shame on us if we've forgotten. >> driving home, the president's message a new 12-month-old ad campaign launched by a group called mayors against illegal guns. it features newtown family members. >> it was not long ago. i still remember when we were there, wolf. a u.s. soldier who fought alongside rebels stands charged of conspiring with an al qaeda group. pictures surfaced showing him in combat with foreign fighters. let's bring in our foreign
affairs correspondent jill dougherty for more on it. this looks like such an unusual case, jill. what more are we learning about this u.s. soldier? >> there's interesting details emerging. he told the fbi, for example, that he was in syria for about 25 days. and that he took part in about seven to ten battles on the side of el nizra. apparently he made no secret of what he was doing in syria. 30-year-old eric harroun of phoenix posted video of himself on youtube, with rocket propelled grpropel ed grenades and other military weapons. tuesday night, he was arrested at a hotel near dulles airport in virginia, charged with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction outside of the united states. while fighting alongside the el
newsra front, a branch of al qaeda in iraq. prosecutors say he served with the u.s. army from 2000 to 2003. he allegedly crossed into syria in january of this year. and fought with the elnusra front. he is now being charged with attacks on americans. it's one of the best armed and efficient fighting groups among the syrian opposition. but also has been designated by the u.s. a terrorist organization mostly for its fighting if iraq against american troops. harroun whose facebook page also shows him with weapons, allegedly was part of an rpg team carrying anti-personnel and anti-armor rockets. on march 12th he told the fbi, however, he hated al qaeda, did not know fi al qaeda members. and would fight any regime if it imposed sharia law if syria.
it's important to note that that charge against harroun is very specific, using the weapon without authority. there's nothing in that charge alleging that he used it as part of working with a terrorist organization. and meanwhile, his father is defending his son, talking with cnn. he said, quote, it's not like he was working for al qaeda. the father, darrell harroun, said he last talked to his son about a week ago, and when cnn spoke with him, he did not know about the arrest. kate? >> jill, just to be clear, there's nothing in there as well charging him with targeting any u.s. troops, correct? >> exactly. it happened in syria and it was fighting the government troops of bashar al assad. >> thank you, jill. olympic track star and murder suspect oscar pistorius is now free to travel overseas. today a south african judge lifted some restrictions on pistorius that were set when he was granted bail. that cleared the way for him to compete in international competitions before he goes on
trial for the killing of his girlfriend. and also in south africa, a story very important to many folks, president obama says his thoughts and prayers are with nelson mandela today. >> the former south african president is back in the hospital. doctors say he's responding to treatment for a lung infection. but at the age of 94, the legendary anti-apartheid leer's health has become a growing concern. robin curnow has more from south africa. what's the latest information, robin? >> reporter: well, it is serious, i think, wolf, this time. he was rushed to hospital in the middle of the night. and as you said, he keeps on going to hospital. this is the third hospitalization in the last four months. what is clear is that at 94, he's not just old, he's frail. he's ill. he's sick. i think many south africans acknowledge this, because they've watched him steadily deteriorate over the past few years.
these are the most recent pictures of nelson mandela taken by cnn at his 94th birthday party, if his home, surrounded by his large family. he looked bewildered, uncertain. so different to the vigorous man who fought so hard, endured so much. the former south african president seemed frail, and unsteady on his legs for some years now. public appearances became increasingly rare. too much effort for a man if his 90s. though he did make, he sometimes dozed off during speeches and seemed confused. his last official appearance was in 2010 at the closing ceremony of the world cup in johannesburg. since then, he's been in hospital four times. if december, mandela was treated here for a lung infection, and had surgery to remove gallstones. now, he's back in hospital,
rushed there in the middle of the night, again suffering from a lung infection, say officials, although he's now responding to treatment, they say. president jacob has asked south africans to pray for him. >> well, this is his second night in hospital, that he's going to be trying to recover from this lung infection. we understand from authorities here if south africa that he'll be kept under observation, absolutely no word when we'll get any update on his condition, or if he's going to be released anytime soon. i ti many south africans indeed just doing what they're told which is hope and pray for good news. >> we wish him, of course, a speedy, speedy recovery. a great, great man. thanks very much, robin, for that report. up next, we're going to take you to the jagged edge of a massive land slide that could swallow more dirt, more trees, even more homes at any minute.
we're just getting word of a public health scare. 7,000 dental patients possibly at risk of contracting hiv and other serious illnesses. we have details. that's coming up. ♪ [ male announcer ] were you more interesting in your twenties, or now? when you were starting out? or after a few decades working in some well-worn character? experience makes you wiser for the wear. and now come the richer possibilities. [ children laughing ] aarp. an ally for real possibilities. find tools and resources at aarp.org/possibilities.
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try fixodent. it helps create a food seal defense for a clean mouth and kills bacteria for fresh breath. ♪ fixodent, and forget it. this is cnn breaking news. breaking news coming into "the situation room" right now. a serious hiv scare is unfolding in tulsa, oklahoma, right now. where health officials are urging 7,000 dental patients to get tested after what may have been a potential exposure to a number of blood-borne viruses including hepatitis b, hepatitis c, as well as hiv. joining me now on the phone, for more on this, is from oklahoma city, susan rogers, the executive director of the oklahoma board of dentistry. susan, thank you so much for jumping on the phone. these numbers sound absolutely terrifying. some 7,000 people could have
potentially been affected. talk to me what you know about the situation and the conditions of this dentist's office. >> we were notified by the health department they were conducting an investigation of the potential outbreak at an office, and i hate to use the word outbreak, but hep c where they had a known patient who believed to be contracted. and we assisted them in an investigation. arrived at the office, and just multiple violations. >> can you describe, i'm sure there's an ongoing investigation, but can you describe what violations you're talking about? >> yes. based on those investigations, my board of directors decided to do an emergency hearing, and in lieu of that the dentist decided to voluntarily temporarily surrender his license until we could get through parts of the investigation. there were multiple violations. one of them was, he was allowing his dental assistants to do the full i.v. sedation, which is a felony in oklahoma.
i mean, they're practicing dentistry without a license. he had sterilization equipment that he was separating and had tools that were for his known hep c patients versus his unknown non-hep c patients. the tools that he was using, which is unacceptable anyway, you're supposed to treat everybody like they have hep c/hiv. he was dipping the ones that he knew had hep c/hiv in bleach. that was making them corrode, which is making them rusted. >> it sounds like potentially gross violations of sterilization policies that are standard across the country. are you saying that the dentist is cooperating? >> yes, had eis through his attorney. >> through his attorney. now, with the limited time we have left, i'm sure there are many people who are worried about if they have ever come in contact with this dentist's office. what is your best advice as we're talking about some 7,000 patients of it dentist that
could have been potentially impacted here? >> this is not a normal circumstance, according to the cdc, they've never had a situation where they've had a hep c documented case out of a dental office. he's an oral surgeon, and has direct contact to blood vessels, different things every day, versus a regular dentist. >> so what do you want to tell patients? where can they go to get tested? who should they call? >> if they will go to the state department of health website or tulsa county health department's website, they've set up three places where they can go get tested for free. and that will be very helpful. >> wow. susan rogers, thank you so much for jumping on the phone with us. something we'll follow closely. breaking news that we're seeing, some 7,000 patients of a local dentist in tulsa, oklahoma, have potential exposure to a number of blood-borne viruses including
hiv. they're telling everyone to seek treatment, and seek testing quickly. thank you so much. >> scary story indeed. let's hope it gets resolved without too much disaster. but very, very scary. we're going to update you on a massive land slide. take a look at these pictures. there's new information coming in about the homes that are in danger as we speak right now. we're going live to the scene right after this. rips add up to family time. this is my family. this is joe. hi joe! hi there! earn a ton of extra points with the double your hhonors promotion and feel the hamptonality.
of people's yards and skroid one home. >> amazing pictures. very scary. there are now new fears that some residents will be forced to evacuate completely. cnn's dan simon is standing on the edge of it all, and talked to one of them. >> reporter: wolf, this gives you an incredible vantage point of this land slide. you see that jagged edge? that's where the dirt just peeled away. that yard extended for at least another 150 feet. if you look below, you can see all those toppled trees from where the dirt and the rocks just took them down. it's quite possible that some of these folks will never be able to return to their homes. >> do you think you'll be able to live here? >> oh, no, i'm not coming back. there's no way they can guarantee me that this mountain side's fought going to continue going. >> reporter: she was sleeping when she thought she felt an earthquake. >> i've had one here before, so the house shook a little bit, so i rolled over and went back to bed until the door started pounding 4:30, quarter to 5:00.
people with flashlights, it was from there, everything went crazy. >> reporter: wednesday's land slide on whidbey island 50 miles north of seattle was estimated to be about 1,000 feet wide. power lines, water mains and part of a major roadway also went tumbling. she soon realized her days in this house were over. tell me what went thu your mind when you came out here and saw your lawn? >> i figured this is next. the house was going to be next. >> reporter: in fact, the land continued crumbling as authorities warned her to get out. >> while i was standing here talking to one of the county workers, that whole side went down. so the other part of the hill went down. he goes, i suggest you get out right now. so i did. >> they're doing a geotechnical assessment of the slide area to determine whether or not it's likely that the slide will grow, or whether it will tend to stabilize. >> reporter: but experts here say a lack of rain in recent days makes this land slide harder to figure out.
the aerial view showed breathtaking images of homes perilously close to the edge. 15 homes have now been declared safe. delia's is not one of them. >> i'm going to work this morning. wa do you do, you go back with your life. >> reporter: the land slides are common in this area. they're a regular occurrence, but everyone we talked to told us they've never seen anything like this one. wolf is this. >> i've never seen it, and i've been covering these stories for a long time. dan simon on the scene for us. thank you. the new jersey governor, chris christie, is asking serious questions right now about a boy with a gun, and a state investigation. did authorities cross a line. we'll have the story when we come back.
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happening now, breaking news. north korea's leader has just put rockets on standby to fewer at u.s. targets. >> a tiger attack. we'll have the latest on the victim and a live report. we'll also drive home the dangers of texting behind the wheel. as it turns out, get this, adults are the worst offenders. they are worse than kids. i'm kate baldwin. >> i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
this is cnn breaking news. let's get to the breaking news right now. another provocative move by north korea's strong man who has been stepping up his threats of war against the united states. >> cnn pentagon correspondent chris lawrence is following this breaking news. so what's the latest, chris? >> kate, right now we've learned ta the north korean state tv has announced that north korea's leader has signed off on a plan to put his rockets on standby for firing at u.s. targets, both in the pacific, and right here if the u.s. mainland. well, forget about the mainland. north korea can't reach here. but there are tens of thousands of american troops if places like japan, korea, and guam that are well within reach of north korean rockets and artillery. this is just the latest escalating move in sort of a tit for tat measure between the north koreans, south korea and the u.s., and it seems like no one is willing to back down.
pentagon officials were in no mood to back down. slg vg hours after flying a stealth bomber over the korean peninsula. >> we will unequivocally defend and we are unequivocally committed to that alliance with south korea. >> reporter: the bombers can carry up to 20 tons of conventional and nuclear ordnance. they took off from an air force base in missouri, flew more than 6,600 miles to a training exercise and dropped inactive payload on a south korean island. why do you think it's wise for the u.s. to respond and poke back at some of these north korean provocations? >> i don't think we're poking back or responding. the north koreans have to understand that what they're doing is very dangerous. >> reporter: but even defense secretary admitted the u.s. is
not sure how its actions are being interpreted in north korea. >> there is uncertainty in that government, and in their leadership, and intentions. >> reporter: pyongyang recently released intimidating new photos of the army and artillery. these are real enough, but north korea is known to exaggerate its abilities. this shot of a beach landing exercise appears to be photo shopped. some of the hover craft looked exactly alike. but there is genuine concern over a new missile north korea unveiled at a parade last year. >> that rogue missile would have the capacity to reach the united states. that's a different type of missile from the one that was tested back in december. and because it's road mobile, i think that it has raised concerns. >> but yet north korea has never tested that missile. so there's to proof, and really, no clear idea of exactly where
they are in the development process. no one thinks that that missile was ready to go. but it is something to keep its eye on over the next several years. kate is this. >> chris, every day this week there's been another threat from north korea, news coming out of that region. how serious are pentagon officials taking this latest threat this evening? >> they take all these threats pretty seriously. not so much some of the far-fetched ones, about sending a nuclear bomb, or nuclear rocket into the united states. but localized attacks, they take very seriously. and i can tell you, amongst south korean officials, after north korea torpedoed ta ship a couple of years ago and shelled some of the border islands, the calculus changed in south korea. they would a lot of times let some of these provocations go. they're much less willing to do that now. the u.s. officials are very invested in making sure that you don't see an escalation from one small attack around the korean
peninsula. >> yes, especially in recent comments from south korea. they've shown no sign of backing down from their position either. >> no. >> chris, thanks so much. in new jersey right now, questions are being raised about an investigation sparked by this photo. it shows a boy holding a military style rifle. his dad posted it online and then authorities showed up at their door. now the governor chris christie said he's concerned about the way the case was handled. mary snow is digging deeper into this story for us. what are you finding out, mary? >> well, wolf, a new jersey man and his lawyers say police went too far. but police say it was their responsibility to investigate a tip raising concerns about the safety of a child, and others that child may come in contact with. when sean moore gave his son a rifle for his 11th birthday, had eposted this photo on facebook. what happened after that is now under investigation by new jersey state officials. police in the small town of carney's point say te received
an anonymous complaint about the moores, and so did the state's division of children and families. a police report states the caller believes the children in the home may be if danger from having unsecured firearms they could access. moore took this photo when he arrived home and said police and agency workers were at his house asking to see the firearms in a safe. he refused to open the safe without a warrant. he expressed his outrage online and went on fox and friends with his son to tell what happened. >> the department of child services started threatening to take my kids if we didn't do that. and they asked if i had anything to hide. if i didn't, why wouldn't i open the safe. they said they would come back with a warrant. >> reporter: moore said after an hour of arguing, the police left. >> in light of recent school shootings across our nation, the carney point police department takes these types of calls seriously. >> reporter: the carney's point police chief declined cnn's
request for an interview, because the matter is now being investigated by the state attorney general. that came after governor chris christie wrote the ag saying public reports about the investigation of moore raised, quote, troubling questions concerning the facts and circumstances surrounding the investigation, the manner in which the investigation was conducted. moore's attorney specializes in second amendment rights issues, and hasn't ruled out a lawsuit. >> this was such an overreaction, and it really taps on a lot of fears that law-abiding gun owners have, that they'll be subject to an irrational raid by the government. it taps right into that. >> now, the police vice preside president -- the police haven't filed any charges, and that the department is not out to infringe on anyone's constitutional rights. i should also add that the calls to the department of children and families for comment weren't returned. wolf and kate? >> thanks very much. when we come back, a zoo
caretaker attacked by a lion. we'll have the latest on this terrifying incident. that's next. isn't a thing at all? it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here.
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just weeks after a deadly lion attack here if the united states, a tiger has now turned on a zoo caretaker. >> let's get the latest on this unfolding story if canada. paul is joining us from at to wa, canada. paul, what are you learning about this? >> reporter: well, the good news is it seems the 51-year-old zookeeper will survive this attack. but kate, i have to tell you, he had lacerations on his neck. it is clear what this siberian
tiger, this mother with two cubs intended to to to this man. and it is very clear he's lucky to be alive. the zoo itself said this wasn't supposed to happen. he was cleaning a pen that the tigers were not supposed to be in. they have two separate pens, one for day, one for night. she clearly wanted to protect her cubs. police are investigating as well as workplace safety. you know, kate, in terms of these kinds of facilities, a lot of people wonder whether it's in the united states or canada, what kind of regulations are actually there. this zoo says, look, we've been in this business for 53 years. nothing like this has ever happened before. but they are siberian tigers. they have only been on the property for about four years. as i say, authorities in quebec investigating. but that is one lucky man. can you imagine how terrifying for everyone at that zoo it morning? and do we have any information about what's the future for the tiger? do we know what's going to happen to her?
>> they've not said yet. she's in isolation and they'll investigate if any measures need to be taken. but it seems from the information the zoo gave us, kate, said this seems to have been some confusion, so they may have to actually change procedures. as i said, it is a question for authorities right now, workplace safety investigating and seeing exactly what the procedures are, so that this doesn't happen again. >> clearly it seems something went wrong. paula newton in canada for us. thanks very much, indeed. coming up, a surprising new study on what adults are doing behind the wheel. lisa sylvester got some details. >> texting while driving. #%tia[
all right. we all know we shouldn't do it, but kate, have you ever, ever, be honest, been guilty of driving and texting at the same time. >> i never -- we've all been guilty. you do it. >> just at a red light. >> that's still texting. >> no stop sign either? >> you're ridiculous. >> no more texting and driving for anyone. very dangerous. >> i'm aware. thank you. those who turn out to do it the most are not who you ti. lisa sylvester is behind the wheel with very surprising results of a new survey. hey there, lisa. >> hi there, kate and wolf. we're doing a demonstration here. we actually have two cameras. this is a common scenario, as you and wolf were just saying. you're driving along so you hear your phone buzz, so you pick it up to check your text or e-mail. it's harder to concentrate to
drive and text at the same time. it's not just teens doing it, so are a lot of adults. you take your eyes off only for a few moments to respond to a text. but all it takes is seconds. the this video is part of a national campaign aimed at young people called "it can wait." but it turns out it's not just teenagers who are texting while driving. >> don't do as i do, do as i say, right? their parents are actually must worse. >> people tend to justify their texting saying there's a lot of traffic, or i'm at a light. but the tinge that we tend to forget about, we have to react to what other drivers do, and we don't know how distracted they are. they could be speeding, drunk. you need to put your phone down and focus on driving. >> reporter: a new survey found 49% of adult commuters admitted to texting and driving. compare that to 43% of teens.
of those adults, 98% said they know it's unsafe. 60% said they didn't text and drive three years ago, and 40% admit it's a habit. sending or receiving a text message takes the driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. if you were driving 55 miles per hour, it would be like having your eyes closed while driving for the length of an entire football field. >> driving is 90% visual, it's 5% touch, and 5% hearing. so anytime you take your eyes off the road, you're reducing your ability to control that vehicle by 90%. >> reporter: so, 39 states and the district of columbia actually ban texting while driving. and for good reason, too, because every single day, there are about nine people who die in accidents because of distracted driving. i can tell you, wolf and kate, firsthand, that trying to do it here with our demonstration,
it's actually very difficult to keep your eyes on the road, keep your eyes on the phone at the same time. so just don't do it. don't text and drive, wolf and kate. >> scary situation. i hope people get a message. it's a horrible thing to do. >> you were under controlled circumstances, you're not doing anything illegal in the demonstration you were giving. >> reporter: that is absolutely correct. but i can tell you, you can see it's a wide-open space where i am right now. so no cars, and that's a really key thing to do. but when you're on the road, that's not the case. that's the thing that they say, a lot of people think, well, i'm at a red light, or traffic has slowed down, so i'm okay here. but the truth is, you take your eyes off for just a few seconds, we've seen it time and time again, what can happen. >> absolutely right. >> don't do it. the bad thing to do. very bad. >> take your own advice. >> i'm not going to do it. >> okay. everyone watch to see if wolf ever does it. lisa, thanks so much. some of the other top
stories we're watching this hour. remember those long voting lines in florida and other parts of the country last election day? president obama's attempting to make good on a state of the union pledge to try to fix that problem. today he signed an executive order establishing bipartisan panel to address the lines and other voter irregularities. the panel will be led by two election lawyers, one from the obama 2012 campaign and the other from mitt romney's campaign. and another break with tradition for pope francis who celebrating holy thursday mass washing the feet of 12 prisoners at a youth detention center. instead of holding the service at the grand basilica in rome. the act of foot washing on the thursday before easter is part of christian tradition. francis has been widely known for em brabracing, simplicity a humility and much more. and he is gone by many a name. >> you're still here. >> you're rocking with the best.
don't worry if i write songs ♪ >> now we can also call sean diddy co combs foshs richest musician with a net worth of $580 million. coming in second, jay z. $470 million. and dr. dre in third place, $350 million. robin williams $154 million. and 50 cent whose net worth is $125 million. that's a lot of million dollars. >> 50 cent. >> i know. i even practiced. are you proud of me? >> he is worth how many? >> $125 million. you know what is interesting about this? >> not worth 50 cent. >> most of this comes from work outside music. this is all the extra stuff they do. diddy has a vodka and all sorts of things. >> good for them. erin burnett is going "outfront" at the top of the
hour on a very different story. she has a preview. what's going on, erin? >> yes, we have breaking news out of north korea. we are just learning that kim jong uncalled a meeting at the headquarters in pyongyang. we have a special report on that and joined by the defense secretary for the pentagon george little. also the woman from georgia on vacation in hawaii, kate and wolf, you were talking about it. she lost her camera seven years ago and it was found. every kid's dream come true, right? you put that bottle in the ocean. this one actually washed ashore. thousands of miles away. she'll be our guest "outfront." and our essay tonight, prince albert and pent house in the world. >> we'll see you at the top of the hour. thank you. up next, police are looking for this man. when you see the video, it's hard to believe he got away. you skip the counters, the lines, and the paperwork. zap. it's our fastest and easiest way to get you into your car. it's just another way you'll be traveling at the speed of hertz. oh, hi thehey!ill.
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a convenient store camera catch this is guy in a feeble and pretty weird attempt at a break in. the poor thing. after throwing a rock at the window, as you see, an alarm sounds and he fled. you just got to see what happens when he runs. well, he first fell down and then ran down again. police, shockingly, have not yet found him. and they're asking the public to help id him. i just say you let the poor guy alone. >> all right. very interesting. you know what else is interesting? i want our viewers to know in case they don't know this is your ultimate show here in "the situation room." did you know that? tomorrow, sad news for me. happy news for you. happy news for all our viewers. you are moving on from night time to morning. >> today time. early, early morning. >> wait a minute. we're just get something interesting caller coming in to "the situation room" right now. stand by for a moment. who is calling? can you tell us who you are?
>> yes, i can, sir. you would like me to do that now? >> yes, please identify yourself. >> i'm a big wolf blitzer fan. i'm that person foremost. otherwise i'm known as chris cuomo, very lucky to be named to the morning show with one catherine jean baldwin. >> no one knows my full name. i feel like we're getting married. >> this is exciting. so it's going to be chris cuomo and kate. >> it will be chris and indicate. >> very, very exciting. i'm very excited. >> chris is supposed to be on vacation now. go back on vacation. >> this is very important. we're letting our viewers know that pretty soon we're'going -- we don't know exactly when the two of you will be co-anchoring our brands new cnn morning show. that means you're going to have to get up very, very early. >> i feel like i'm entering spring training. >> chris, i want you to know this. so from now on -- because she has to get up early -- when you watch the 6:00 p.m. hour of "the situation room," that will be like late night tv.
>> yeah. exactly. it will be late night. right after -- well after we have dinner. >> it will be like "nightline" or something like that. it will be very late and hard for you to get -- what time you to get up? >> at first i'll be getting up at 2:00. i think chris can pull it off better than i. he'll teach me. >> chris, you have some advice for your new co-anchor? >> look, the best thing that kate has going for her, herself, is being herself. she's very lucky. she's not like people like me, wolf, people like you and kate, you can just be yourselves and successful on tv. i have to figure out a way to fake it every day. >> no. no. you're going to be terrific. you are terrific. you got a lot of good experience. but the most difficult things will be that early morning wakeup call. very early. >> very hard. very hard. very hard. your body takes on a different reality. nobody works harder than the morning crew because just the grind. but the key is, wolf.
this is what i learned when on gma working with rob and sam and all them. you have to love what you do. that's what gets you up in the morning. otherwise, it is artificial. it is still dark out. very tough. >> i know, speaking with your husband michael and we are going to have a special early morning wakeup call for you. i want you to listen -- >> i think michael is going to make me sleep in the other room. >> i think you're going to want to hear how that early morning wakeup call -- >> this is cnn's wolf blitzer. your phone is ringing. >> how is that? >> i never heard that before. that's amazing. >> that's pretty good. you would like that? >> that will be my wakeup call every morning. >> and chris, if you want that ring tone, you know, we can get that for you as well. >> i want you to add my name. to hear you say my name, that will pop me up at any hour of any day. >> let me just congratulate both of you on behalf of all of ust